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Montante project in Falls could receive 12-year property tax break

The $5 million Montante Group redevelopment project near Seventh and Niagara streets in Niagara Falls could receive a 12-year property tax break without any public board voting on it, according to Anthony Vilardo, city business development director.

Vilardo said this week that state law allows a developer like Montante, who is rehabilitating old non-residential buildings into mixed residential and commercial uses, to apply directly to the city assessor for a so-called 485-a tax break.

The increase in the site's assessed value would be tax-free for the first eight years. For four years after that, there would be property tax discounts of 80 percent, 60 percent, 40 percent and 20 percent.

The Niagara County Industrial Development Agency has set a public hearing for 3 p.m. April 3 in Niagara Falls City Hall on Montante's request for sales tax and mortgage tax exemptions on the three buildings it bought from the city in December. The NCIDA board is expected to vote on the request April 11.

Montante's plan calls for commercial space on the ground floors of the buildings, including a new office for the Niagara Global Tourism Institute, and 17 market-rate apartments on the second and third floors.

A second phase on Seventh Street could include building townhouses, possibly with more commercial space, the company said last week. That phase would not be covered by the city or IDA incentives now being sought.

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